Anjorin, I. (2009). High-stakes tests for students with specific learning disabilities: Disability-based differential item functioning. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section A. Humanities and Social Sciences , 71 (02). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/304997473/abstract
Anjorin, I. (2009). High-stakes tests for students with specific learning disabilities: Disability-based differential item functioning. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section A. Humanities and Social Sciences, 71(02). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/304997473/abstract
UMI# 3390841 Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Thirty-one types of accommodations were made available to students taking the 10th grade math test. Accommodations were given either individually or in packages/combinations as stated in student's IEP. The most common packages were: small group/read aloud directions/sign interpret directions/clarify directions; small group/calculator; calculator/ number chart/manipulatives; small group alone.
Data from a statewide (U.S.) grade 10 Mathematics test were used for this study. There were data for 55,313 students without disabilities, and 5,957 students with specific learning disabilities (SLD). Participants were divided into four groups (one reference group and 3 focal groups): students without disabilities (reference), students with SLD, students with SLD who received state-mandated accommodations, and students with SLD who didn't receive state mandated test accommodations.
Student performance on items on one state's 10th grade mathematics test was used to calculate differential item functioning (DIF).
Descriptive statistics revealed that mean scores for students without disabilities (SWOD) were 10+ points higher than for students with SLD. Items were then examined for DIF. When examining the level of DIF in performance between SWOD and students with SLD, 62% of the items exhibited no DIF, and 38% of items exhibited variable DIF favoring either group (19% favored SWOD, 19% favored SLD students). The items that favored students with SLD were most often items on which they could use a calculator (one of the most commonly provided accommodations). Items that favored students with SLD also were found to be more difficult to compute. More DIF items were found to favor the SWOD group, which is potentially concerning, and an area the author identified as needing further research.